From:Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan began yesterday in Kaduna amid soaring in prices of food.
Investigations by this reporter revealed that a state with high number of Muslims faithful who stock up on traditional foods for the evening fast breaking that follow daily Ramadan fasts, will withness new dimension because of the hike in prices.
The situation is worsened by abject poverty, caused by the insecurity challenges and Covid-19 pandemic which have made residents to pay as much as six times the normal price for many food items.
At the Abubakar Gumi Market in Kaduna, a shopper Iliyasu Raji said increase in prices have further impoverished many, as sellers are sure that customers are willing to pay higher prices in order to make particular preparations for Ramadan fasting.
According to him, traders feel people are in need of these products so they inflates the prices.
Similarly, Hajiya Hauwa Mohammed who spoke to this reporter at the Station Market lamented that “It is very obvious that food prices have gone beyond the reach of the common man.”
She particularly said the prices of fruits at the market have soar high because they are important ingredients in breaking the fast.
However a trader said the increased prices reflect inflated costs that farmers charge during the holy month.
According to him he pays about 30 percent more per watermelon during Ramadan, forcing him to increase prices in order to make a profit.
In his reaction Secretary General Nigerian Islamic umbrella organization Jama’atu Nasril Islam, (JNI ) Dr. Khalid Aliyu Abubakar,said kaduna residents can’t withstand the pressure of increased poverty amid the ongoing insurrection.
“It is unbecoming when somebody utilizes the opportunity of Ramadan to suck the blood of the common poor people,” he said. “Therefore let the prices go down.”
Whatever the situations kaduna residents will have to cope with the hike in prices of food and fruits for the next 30 days unless succour comes from the power to be.